POLITICS

U.S. Stands By Assertion That North Korea Was Behind Sony Cyberattack

US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the briefing room of the White House December 19, 2014 in Washi
US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the briefing room of the White House December 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama addressed the press before traveling with the first family on their annual Christmas beach vacation in the president's birth state of Hawaii. Obama on Friday warned North Korea it would face retaliation over a cyber attack on Sony Pictures and pledged not to bow to dictators, as an envoy for Pyongyang denied involvement. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

HONOLULU, Dec 20 (Reuters) - The United States stands by its assertion that the North Korean government was behind the massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council said on Saturday.

Asked about North Korea's statement on Saturday denying involvement in the strike against the Hollywood studio, NSC spokesman Mark Stroh said: "As the FBI made clear, we are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack. We stand by this conclusion."

"The Government of North Korea has a long history of denying responsibility for destructive and provocative actions," he said.

"If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused," Stroh added. North Korea called earlier for a joint U.S.-North Korean probe into the incident. (Reporting by Julia Edwards in Honolulu; Writing by Susan Heavey in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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